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NEW – SDS Shooting Head Kits

October 10 2017

For the past few months I have had the pleasure of fishing with our new SDS shooting head system. Here in Ireland we have mostly small to medium sized rivers and these heads which come in D/H lengths from 33-36.3feet or 10-11m and the Switch is 29.7feet or 9m, ideal!

Firstly whats in the box??


All of the SDS kits come complete with the head and three tips included, the Scandi kit (double handed) you get the, float, sink 3, and sink 5, and with the Switch kit the standard tips are float, intermediate, sink 3.


You can also buy the rest of the range of tips individually. There is also a handy mesh wallet for the tips.

When trying out a new line system there are basically two main points of view to take on the line. How does it get out to the fish and what does it do when it gets there.

1 – Casting. These lines are designed to make casting as easy and effortless as possible. They have a rear biased taper, which means most of the line weight is at the rear of the head (i.e. closest to the rod tip). What this means is that it is much easier to load the rod. Also when performing a cast if the anchor is less than perfect there is still enough weight under the rod tip to load the rod sufficiently and complete the forward stroke. This also helps if you are casting in a tight or awkward spot where you are just pulling the head into the  position and don’t have the room to lift the rod to the key position properly.


2 – I had two of the SDS heads, one was the #8 which I matched up with the Cross SX 13’2” #8. This was then joined to the .0032” Loop Runner running line and spooled up on to the Opti Speedrunner. In my opinion this is a perfectly balanced outfit. I found that this running line gave just the right amount of resistance to both shoot line and maintain good turnover on the head. The other head was the switch in a #6. I matched this head up with the 11’00” #6 Evotec Cast medium fast Switch rod. This in turn was matched up with Loop Shooter and spooled up onto the Opti Rapid. The reason I prefer the mono running line with this is because its a switch outfit the head is much lighter and benefited from the less resistance given from the mono. Its just a lighter running line for a lighter outfit that gives the caster the best results. A heavier running line would give too much resistance causing the head to turn over very quickly reducing casting distance.


3 – All of the SDS heads come with interchangeable tip sections. On the 6-8 weight heads the tip sections are 12feet or 3.6m and on the 9-11 weight heads the tip sections are 15feet or 4.5m. On the Switch kit the tip sections are 10feet or 3m. These tip sections are attached  by a simple loop to loop connection and are laser marked which I found very easy to follow. Because of the profile of the head the connections do not affect the casting or turnover of the head. There is no hinging at all. In fact I found with the denser tip sections the loops tightened up a little. When casting different length heads with the same rod you must change your casting stroke to suit, this new system eliminates that. You can change your line densities while keeping the same head length thus keeping the casting stroke the same.


4 – These heads are not stroke specific, meaning they do not have to be cast a certain way. From casting them myself and watching clients of mine casting with them they have been cast in almost every way possible and have performed flawlessly. Also the profile of the heads are aggressive enough to be able to turn over Micro tips or poly leaders if you will, without any problem. Saying that I wouldn’t use anything longer than the 5foot/1.5m micro tips on the switch kit, where as the #8 is capable of turning over 10′ polys. Leaders also play a big part in the casting of shooting heads but I think thats an article for another day! Just remember keep them tapered.


5 – Fishing. It might sound a bit silly but how the line tracks when on the swing really contributes to its effectiveness. For me line colour is a big thing and the subtle ivory colour of the floating section will blend in perfectly with the sky, remember salmon are looking up !!! What I really loved about the SDS heads is that its a real point and shoot head. What I mean is you can cast it at the angle you want to and the line gets a grip in the water and comes across evenly without being overly affected by any turbulence in the water. What this in turn means is that there is no slack line in the water so you are in direct contact with the fly all the way to the dangle. It might sound a bit O.T.T but trust me in tough conditions you need to feel every bump and pluck as it may provide you with the information you need to get a fish to take properly. This line will give you that.


6 – The fact that you can change the tip section of the head makes this line incredibly versatile. You have the capability to search out different depths at different speeds all with the one line!


7 – The fact that you can do this with the Switch kit as well is a huge plus. You can still search different depths on smaller rivers or on medium rivers in low water without loosing the delicate touch of the switch. This coupled with the  5foot/1.5mMicro tips you are able to make a triple density head to your own specific needs. In a nutshell this SDS system from Loop is extremely versatile, practical, effective, and easy to use. I have caught salmon in a range of different conditions with this line and personally it will continue to be my go to line for salmon fishing.


8 – Tight lines!





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